Illuminated water jets that people can splash through in summer, terraced waterfront seating and an amphitheatre are all features in final plans for a central city park for Whangārei.
Worked is scheduled to start on the new Town Basin Park in early January and due to be ready in time for the opening of the neighbouring Hundertwasser Art Centre (HAC) with Wairau Maori Art Gallery.
Whangārei District Council's manager of infrastructure planning and capital works Shelley Wharton said the park had been in the planning process since 2015 so to have a finalised plan to work from was great progress.
The park will link the waterfront, Loop Walkway and the central city, Wharton said.
"The park will be a versatile space with an amphitheatre to hold community concerts, markets and events, a great lawn for people to gather and relax, terraced waterfront seating, trees for shade, a small play space and illuminated water jets for park users to splash around in during summer."
The new park will stretch across what are currently two car park areas off Hatea Dr and Dent St.
Those working on the project had looked to other places for ideas and taken ideas people had put forward. The park would also flow up to the Hundertwasser Art Centre.
"The three features that were rated by the public as being the most desirable for the site were viewing terraces, large lawn, and a water feature,'' Wharton said.
She said the land the park is to be built on has a rich Māori and European history and these cultural narratives are referenced in the new park's design.
The Hātea Loop, which borders the new park will remain open during construction.
The council would be releasing more information about the new park over the coming months, taking a closer look at the park's main features and the background stories that inspired the design.
There will be a formal naming process for the new park in 2020, when the public will be asked to give suggestions for a name for the new park.